Jack Hanratty named full-time coach of Canada women’s rugby 7s team

Jack Hanratty has been appointed head coach of the Canada women’s rugby sevens team, after an interim role of nearly 10 months.

Hanratty was assistant coach of the women’s team for seven events in Vancouver and Edmonton in September 2021 and took over as interim head coach in October. Initially it was for a period of one year, but in February, his term was extended for another eight months.

On Tuesday, Rugby Canada made the role permanent.

“It is an honor to lead this incredible group on an interim basis and I am delighted to continue in this role full time and continue the progress we have made this year,” Hanraty said in a statement.

Under Hanratty’s guidance, the Canadian women finished seventh overall in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series and fourth at the recent Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England.

The team has seen considerable turnover since the Tokyo Olympics, with 13 players making their senior sevens debut under Hanraty.

Irish-born Hanratty previously served as an assistant coach with the Canadian women’s 15 team, head coach of the under-20s 15 squad and a coach with the Rugby Canada Academy in Halifax.

When Hanratty immigrated to Canada 10 years ago, he was working as a development officer for Leinster Rugby, initially for seven days running a course for a rugby club in Halifax. It turned into relaxation for the summer.

After returning to Ireland, he interviewed for a job with Rugby Nova Scotia, thinking it might last a year or so. Instead he found a home in Canada and is now a citizen.

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Hanratty has also served in an advisory role for Canadian Sports Center (CSC) Atlantic and Rugby Nova Scotia.

First full-time coach since Tait’s resignation

The women’s Seven team has been without a full-time coach since John Tait, who won bronze at the 2016 Rio Olympics, stepped down in April 2021 in the wake of a complaint filed by 37 current and former team members under Rugby. Canada’s Harassment and Bullying Policy.

An independent review concluded that the conduct described in the complaint reflects the athletes’ experiences, but does not fall within the Rugby Canada policy’s definition of harassment or bullying.

Tait later stepped down as Sevens coach and women’s high performance director, saying she had done nothing wrong. The former Canadian international is now the Technical Director of BC Rugby.

Australian Mick Byrne, who had previously worked as a consulting coach with Rugby Canada, was in charge of the Sevens Women at the Tokyo Olympics, where the team finished a disappointing ninth.

Former Canadian Women’s 15 captain Kelly Russell coached the team at the Vancouver and Edmonton Sevens events in September 2021.